Identification of relevant ICF categories in vocational rehabilitation: a cross sectional study evaluating the clinical perspective

J Occup Rehabil. 2011 Jun;21(2):156-66. doi: 10.1007/s10926-011-9308-2.


Introduction: Vocational rehabilitation (VR) emphasizes a need for medical support, rehabilitation and biopsychosocial approach to enable individuals to successfully participate in the workforce. Optimal rehabilitation management relies on an in-depth knowledge of the typical spectrum of problems encountered of patients in VR. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) is based on a universal conceptual model and provides a holistic view of functioning of the lived experience of people such as those undergoing VR. The objectives of this study are to describe the functioning and health of persons undergoing VR and to identify the most common problems around work and in VR using the ICF as the reference framework.

Methods: An empirical cross-sectional multicenter study was conducted using convenience sampling from March 2009 to March 2010. Data were collected using a Case Record Form rated by health professionals which was based on an extended version of the ICF Checklist containing 292 ICF categories and sociodemographic information.

Results: 152 patients with various health conditions participated. We identified categories from all four ICF components: 24 for body functions, six for body structures, 45 for activities and participation, and 25 for environmental factors.

Conclusions: Our study identified a multitude of ICF categories that describe functioning domains and which represent the complexity of VR. Such a comprehensive approach in assessing patients in VR may help to understand and customize the process of VR in the clinical setting and to enhance multidisciplinary communication.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / classification*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Employment
  • Environment Design
  • Female
  • Health Services
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Social Support
  • World Health Organization